Learning Spaces

Improvements to the lecture recording service for Lent Term 2019

We are pleased to announce that our colleagues in Estates Division and Data and Technology Services (formerly IMT) have worked over the Christmas break to improve the lecture recording system.  Recording facilities are newly installed in the following rooms:
  • CLM.2.04
  • CLM.2.05
  • CLM.2.06
If you are scheduled to teach in these rooms and would like to have your lectures recorded, please let us know by completing the form in LSE for You
The following rooms now have High Definition video, in addition to audio and display recording facilities:
  • 32L.LG.03
  • 32L.LG.18
  • NAB – Alumni Theatre
  • NAB – Wolfson Theatre
  • NAB.1.07
  • NAB.1.09
  • NAB.1.10
  • NAB.1.14
  • NAB.1.15
  • NAB.1.17
  • NAB.1.18
  • NAB.1.19
  • NAB.2.06
  • NAB.2.08
  • NAB.2.09
  • NAB.2.13
  • NAB.2.14
  • NAB.2.16
  • OLD.3.21
  • OLD.4.10
  • PAR.1.02
  • PAR.2.03
  • PAR.LG.03
  • TW2.2.04

“On air” lights

Lights have been installed to help you determine when a recording is taking place.  The lights change colour according to the state of the recording system.  When the light is a steady green, no recording is taking place, but the system is operational.  When the light is a steady yellow, a recording is due to start in the next five minutes.  When the light is a steady red, a recording is in progress.
The light also doubles as a push-button control system.  When the light is a steady red (meaning a recording is in progress) you can push down on the light to pause the recording.  You may wish to do this when there is a break in your lecture, or when you otherwise feel that continuing to record is not appropriate.  When the recording is paused, the light will blink yellow.  Push down on the light to resume recording.  Wait for the light to return to a steady red before continuing with your teaching.
Please note that the light will only function while the PC in the room is switched on.

Opt in, or opt out?

Lecture recording remains opt in pending the ratification of the policy document by Academic Board. Some lecturers expressed concern about paragraph 2, which governs intellectual property. We will be sending a revised draft to the departments and the UCU branch for comment before final submission to Academic Board.
So the procedure for Lent Term continues to be as outlined in this post:
January 15th, 2019|Announcements, Learning Spaces, Lecture recording|Comments Off on Improvements to the lecture recording service for Lent Term 2019|

Active lectures

So as per last week’s blog post, recording your lectures is beneficial to students and should not negatively impact on lecture attendance but what will help increase lecture attendance?

Between MT 2015 and LT 2017, academic developers from the Teaching and Learning Centre co-convened and reported on a series of focus groups with students in 8 departments across the School to learn more about students’ experiences. These focus groups found that LSE students value:

Lectures that are inspiring and motivating

‘…I’m listening to him and he’s showing his enthusiasm for the topic and his research, and I’m sitting there thinking this is stimulating me and I want to know more about this’.

Lectures that are well structured

‘A good lecture is structured and I see the structure from the start.’

Lectures in which students understanding is checked

‘every lecturer that I have, they just talk at you, and there is no chance to make sure that you know what you need to know, or that you understand stuff.’

‘…  Because sometimes a lecturer is in flow and you don’t want to just disrupt it … But when he just pauses and asks ‘This is good time now to ask your question’ – I think that’s very valuable.’

‘…  something he does that I really like is that when he’s concluding a bit of material he’s trying to get through, he does say ‘Do you have any questions on this?’ and nearly every time there isn’t anything, but you know it gives me an opportunity to think ‘Actually have I understood that properly?’ and ‘This would be an appropriate time.’  

Lectures that are interactive and not too long

‘You go there and you sit: it’s a very passive process. I think lectures need to be more active. Not in the sense of asking questions but in the sense of doing … I’m fed up with being talked to for hours.’

Rethinking the lecture  

As many institutions shift towards opt out lecture recording (see post from last week) there also appears to be a move away from the standard model of lecturing and a move towards an active blended learning approach.

Technology can often help facilitate this for example:

This interactive model will present some issues that institutions need to consider including:

  • Gaining consent from students to be recorded or ways to edit or stop and start recordings easily.
  • Rethinking learning spaces

LTI have been working with Estates, AV and TLC to renovate learning spaces and have been working on various projects to evaluate the type of learning spaces (furniture, technology and layout) best suited for collaborative or flexible teaching approaches.  We have also been working with estates to create signage to inform staff and students that recording is taking place and will be working with AV to investigate more agile recording systems that allow lecturers to stop and start recording in the room.

If you would like some advice and support on how to use technology in your teaching contact LTI.  Calls are currently open for LTI grant projects including those that have themes of innovative use of space and transforming your teaching with technology.  See the LTI website for more information.


Armellini, A (2018, Jan 11) ‘The large lecture theatre is dead’

retrieved from https://www.jisc.ac.uk/news/the-large-lecture-theatre-is-dead-11-jan-2018

Bates, S.P., Howie, K. & Murphy, A. St J. (2006) The use of electronic voting systems in large group lectures: challenges and opportunities. New Directions 2 (Dec) 1-8.

Cornish, A (2017, August 3) ‘Vermont Medical School Says Goodbye To Lectures’ 

retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/08/03/541411275/vermont-medical-school-says-goodbye-to-lectures

Huxham, M. (2005) Learning in lectures: do ‘interactive windows’ help? Active Learning in Higher Education 6 (1) 17-31.

Revell, A. & Wainwright, E (2009) What makes lectures ‘unmissable’? Insights into teaching excellence and active learning.
Journal of Geography in Higher Education 33 (2) 209-223.

Roger, K., Ney, S & Liote, L. (2016) Teaching spaces design and development at LSE: an evaluation of impact on teaching and learning. London: The London School of Economics and Political Science.


Lecture recording now available in KSW.1.04

If you are timetabled to deliver lectures in KSW.1.04 during Lent Term 2018, you can now choose to have your lectures recorded.  See our guide to setting your lecture recording preferences. Note that your sessions will need to be classified as “Lectures” in the timetable for you to be able to book them in LSE for You.

December 20th, 2017|Learning Spaces, Lecture recording|Comments Off on Lecture recording now available in KSW.1.04|

LSE Secret Spaces: Hive-Studio in OLD.B.25

Discover the OLD.B.25 Hive-Studio as part of our Secret Spaces competition to win an iPad. Collect a code from Hive.Studio and all of the other spaces featured and submit online to be in with a chance of winning an iPad. Alternatively, post photos of you in your favourite LSE ‘secret’ study spaces to win John Lewis vouchers. See below for details on how to enter.

A computer room located deep in the basement of a building, open until late but surrounded by workshops, lockers and anonymous corridors is not an enticing concept.  However, with the capacity to work on computers at a premium on campus, OLD B.25 was a high capacity, in demand space.  Informed by the intentions of departments to support media making and entrepreneurial collaboration, this room has been transformed.  The Hive studio, as it is now known, is a collaborative technology room, built on the principles of co-working spaces.

With group work supported by writable surfaces, innovative screen sharing capability, a problem solving/group work cell and cafe style high benches, the Hive Studio is the first ‘loud’ computer room at the LSE with discussion and engagement actively encouraged.  Building on the School’s growing use of media making, nearly half the computers have Final Cut Pro installed to allow students to edit and produce multimedia for assessment and course presentations.

See our interactive campus map for details of where you can find Hive-Studio and the other recently developed spaces.

Competition details

Each space has a code word – collect each one and enter them on our form by Wednesday 6th December for your chance to win a 128GB iPad.

Send us your selfies!

We will also be giving away prizes of £30 of John Lewis vouchers for students who send in the best photos of themselves in one of the spaces

1. Take a selfie in your favourite space (see interactive map below)

2.Tell us why you like the space

3.Share on Twitter or Instagram using #LSEspaces. Deadline is Wednesday 6th December

Please note that both competitions are only open to registered LSE students.

November 28th, 2017|Learning Spaces|Comments Off on LSE Secret Spaces: Hive-Studio in OLD.B.25|

Secret spaces: Can you find LSE’s new student study spaces?


Find ALL of the secret spaces to win an iPad 9.7 128Gb

LTI have worked with Estates to refurbish some underused and unloved spaces around the campus and make them areas for students to chill, charge, collaborate and study.  See our interactive campus map for details of where you can find them.

Each space has a code word – collect each one and enter them on our form by Wednesday 6th December 2017 for your chance to win a 128GB iPad.

Send us your selfies!

We will also be giving away prizes of £30 of John Lewis vouchers for students who send in the best photos of themselves in one of the spaces

1. Take a selfie in your favourite space (see interactive map below)

2.Tell us why you like the space

3.Share on Twitter or Instagram using #LSEspaces. Deadline is Wednesday 6th December

Please note that both competitions are only open to registered LSE students.


November 24th, 2017|Announcements, Learning Spaces, Projects, Teaching & Learning, Tools & Technologies|Comments Off on Secret spaces: Can you find LSE’s new student study spaces?|

Learning spaces consultancy work for LSE

LSE is seeking to engage a teaching and learning spaces consultant to develop an understanding of requirements for informal and formal learning and teaching spaces at LSE for the next 10 years. This work should take the form of an ambitious programme of renewal for teaching and learning spaces that is appropriate to the future requirements of the LSE curriculum.

The deadline for the return of formal expressions of interest is November 8.

In the first instance, please contact Peter Bryant (p.j.bryant@lse.ac.uk) or Kris Roger (k.roger@lse.ac.uk) with any questions and for further details including a full brief.

October 25th, 2017|Learning Spaces|Comments Off on Learning spaces consultancy work for LSE|

From interviews to Instagram, how did we engage students in the evaluation of Clement House?

This article is one of three blog posts on the newly refurbished learning spaces in Clement House. It is written by Emma Wilson, Graduate Intern for LTI. You can find her on Twitter (@MindfulEm). For more information about the Clement House evaluation, please take a look at our final report.

Working with students as partners in the development of their university experience should form an integral part of any institution’s set of policies. However, securing a sufficient level of student engagement, which is also meaningful, poses a challenge across the sector.

Within the evaluation process for Clement House, we have been keen to utilise a wide array of communication channels – including some innovative new approaches which have involved social media. By complimenting the old and new, our mixed method approach to data collection has secured the involvement of 196 students. In addition, we carried out 67 non-participant observation; as such, the Clement House evaluation benefited from 263 pieces of data for analysis.

How did we publicise the work and recruit volunteers?

Put simply: targeted and personalised communications. Which departments are the most active users of Clement House? Where are students most likely to pay attention to posters on the wall? What incentives would attract students to participate? If students want to get involved, how would they like to do so? With the never-ending stream of emails, how do we know which will be paid most attention by students, and what are the alternative channels of communication?

By taking the time to consider the above, it is far more probable that students will show a willingness to engage themselves in a project evaluation.

The use of visual communications has been a core component of this project evaluation. Posters were visible in strategic locations throughout the project, whereby a QR code and bespoke hashtag was used (where applicable). These posters were displayed across all floors of the Student Union’s building, and electronic versions were broadcast in the library and Clement House (including the International Relations Department which is based there).

Poster One: Seeking student engagement in an online survey
Poster Two: Seeking student engagement in a social media competition


Findings based on method of engagement

We created an online and paper version of a survey. The questions were identical although the online survey provided space to make any additional comments. We received 55 responses to the survey in paper format, and 45 via the online survey. The social media campaign ran outside of term time, for a shorter period of time (2.5 weeks), and received 12 responses. This data was supplemented by 74 structured interviews of 1-3 minutes that were carried out during the non-participant observations (of which 67 were carried out across 4 weeks).

Key findings from the evaluation can be found in our report and in our other blog posts (see links). We have also drawn together a selection of Tweets and Instagram responses and displayed them as a collection on StorifyA sample of Tweets and Instagram posts can also be viewed in the slideshow below.

Sample of Tweets and Instagram posts 

What lessons have we learned?

A mixed approach to data collection enabled us to find a balance between a purely qualitative or quantitative approach. Whilst interviews provide an opportunity to understand how and why a student feels a certain way, the use of close-ended survey questions ensures a certain amount of objectivity in particular instances. For example, in the survey it was useful to provide students with four options when asked about the purpose of their visit to the learning space. This allowed comparability across floors. However, it was the richness of data collected from the subsequent open-ended questions (whether in the interview or survey) that enabled us to fully understand the reason why a student feels a certain way.

With a mixed method approach, it is important to ensure consistency of methodology across data collection methods. Do you have the same questions for the paper and online versions of the survey? If not, why not? How can any differences be taken into account?

Looking ahead, I would be keen to encourage the future use of a mixed methods approach to data collection. If carrying out a social media campaign, it is important to consider the time of year in which the campaign in launched; if it’s outside of academic teaching, many students will not be on campus, and you will have to place a greater reliance on online promotion. It is also useful to check whether the university is conducting any other surveys – such as the NSS or end-of-year departmental feedback questionnaires – to ensure that students are not overwhelmed by the number of surveys they are being asked to complete.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to successful student engagement and it is important to consider the following:

  1. Know your audience
    • Who are you trying to secure engagement from? (Students? If so, are you seeking feedback from those in a particular department or academic year?)
    • When might they be most willing to get involved? (Whilst waiting for their next class? As a break or distraction from revision? During a particular event?)
    • What are the incentives for them to get involved? (Focus on your language – emphasise the power of the student voice in contributing towards policy change; offer students the chance to win a voucher; if running a workshop, say that it’s an opportunity to network with peers and even make new friends)
  2. Think about how the ways in which they can get involved
    • Will canvassing a busy student before class necessarily be more effective than a survey that can be filled out in their own time?
    • Is the university keen to promote engagement through Instagram or Snapchat? Can your project also utilise these platforms?
  3. Connect with colleagues across departments and student groups or societies
    • Partnerships and collaborative working are great ways to contact groups of students who might be harder to reach.
    • Think about your audience – who are they likely to be in contact with? If students, do they have a student representative for their academic course?
    • Make contact with the university’s Student Union (SU); for example, their student engagement and communications officer. Getting some publicity on their website, social media feeds and newsletters is great for exposure. Asking to place posters around the SU building is a good way to reach more students.

Ultimately, this project unveiled a positive message: students are keen to get involved in sharing their views on the teaching and learning experience at LSE. 

Don’t be scared to pilot a new approach to student engagement. Understand your audience, think about how they interact in the university community, and take advantage of the new channels of communication. Over the next few years, we are likely to witness a changing landscape in higher education as Generation Z bring to their university a whole set of new expectations, skills and approaches to life in an ever-evolving digital environment. It is an exciting time for universities to engage with students and discuss the potential and opportunities for the future of higher education.  By approaching engagement in a creative way, we are more likely to kickstart a widespread conversation across the entire learning community.



Other blogs in the LSE 2020 series: (see here and here)

July 25th, 2017|Clement House, Learning Spaces, Social Media, Student projects, Surveys|Comments Off on From interviews to Instagram, how did we engage students in the evaluation of Clement House?|

Understanding student use of informal learning spaces with cognitive and photographic mapping

This article is one of three blog posts on the newly refurbished learning spaces in Clement House. It is written by Emma Wilson, Graduate Intern for LTI. You can find her on Twitter (@MindfulEm). For more information about the Clement House evaluation, please take a look at our final report.

In 2016, LSE unveiled six refurbished informal learning spaces in Clement House.

As part of this process, we sought to uncover how spaces such as these fit into the day-to-day life of a student. To help with our enquiry, we decided to design and deliver a one-hour interactive workshop with students at LSE. We had three objectives:

  • To better understand the behaviours, attitudes and preferences of LSE students using informal learning spaces such as those within the Clement House rotunda. Specifically, to better understand how, what, when, where and why students use particular learning spaces.
  • To compare the original design intentions for each floor at Clement House to how these spaces are viewed by students.
  • To better understand how the Clement House spaces fit into the overall student learning experience at LSE

The workshop was divided into two parts:

  1. A cognitive mapping exercise
  2. A photographic mapping exercise


1. Cognitive Mapping

The first part of the workshop, adapted from work undertaken in the ERIAL project and developed by Donna Lanclos at UNC Charlotte, aimed to explore how the learning spaces at Clement House fit into the overall learning journey at LSE. Each student was provided with a blank sheet of A3 paper and four different coloured pens. The first part of the activity required students to list all the places in which they go to study – from the library, to a local café, to halls of residence. This part of the exercise took 6 minutes in total. Every 2 minutes, students were asked to switch the colour of their pens in this order: blue, red, black. After 6 minutes, students were asked to annotate their maps using a green pen, to say why they chose these spaces and what they do in these spaces – individual reading; group work; essay writing? By using different coloured pens, it was possible to see which locations came to the forefront of students’ minds when asked to think about places they go to study. Students were then asked to discuss their maps with the group.


2. Photographic Mapping

Building on the work at the University of Rochester, (Briden, 2007) the activity in photographic mapping asked students to take photographs of their preferred spaces at Clement House based on a list of questions:

  1. Something you would like to see replicated on other parts of campus.
  2. Something you think could be improved.
  3. Your favourite piece of technology.
  4. Your favourite piece of furniture.

Students worked in pairs and were asked to write down reasons for their photos. Following the exercise in photographic mapping, students were asked about the design intentions of each floor. This was a useful opportunity to compare student opinion with original design intentions.

Full size images of the exercise in photographic mapping can be found here: 1, 2, 3.


This workshop was an opportunity to engage with students using a creative and interactive approach. The 10 spaces for the workshop were filled in a short space of time and recruitment was conducted over Twitter and/or departmental newsletters. Participants were awarded £10 for their time and Eventbrite was used. Looking ahead to future sessions, it would be worth having 1.5 hours for the workshops in order to have more time for discussion.

The cognitive mapping exercise provided some insightful data and it was interesting to see the different approaches that students took to presenting their mind maps. Cumulatively, a total of over 40 different areas, both on- and off-campus, were cited as places where students choose to study. This signals two things: firstly, there is diversity in preference that moves beyond traditional learning spaces such as the library; secondly, the learning environment reaches far beyond the classroom walls, and stretches across the day – from checking emails on the morning commute, to finding a study space after – or in-between – class, in an area such as Clement House.

The photographic exercise was another interesting activity that highlighted the diversity of student preferences within the built learning environment. It was important to ask students the reasons behind their choices. When looking at possible improvements to the learning spaces, all of the students focused their discussion on spatial factors, such as maximising the number of tables and chairs.

Regarding the second objective – to compare the original design intentions for each floor at Clement House to how these spaces are viewed by students – it was interesting that student perception of each space contrasted to the original design intentions. Given that many of these spaces were designed to facilitate interactive group working rather than individual self-study, it is not surprising, at this stage, for a difference of opinion – at present, students are more familiar with the traditional methods of learning, rather than using interactive or static whiteboards for group discussion. Looking ahead, it is hoped that these spaces will be well-suited for LSE’s increasing focus on assessment diversification; particularly those projects which involve group work.

Further information about the workshop (including methodology, references, complete findings and discussion) can be found in the report. If you have any questions on the recruitment process or any of the activities, contact Emma Wilson (e.wilson2@lse.ac.uk).

A full version of the evaluation report, complete with the methodology used for the workshop, can be found here.



BRIDEN, J. 2007. Photo surveys: eliciting more than you knew to ask for. In: FOSTER, N. F. & GIBBONS, S. (eds.) Studying Students: The Undergraduate Research Project at the University of Rochester. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries.

ASHER, A. & MILLER, S. 2011. A Practical Guide to Ethnographic Research in Academic Libraries: The ERIAL Project.

LANCLOS, D. 2013. Playing with Cognitive Mapping. the Anthropologist in the Stacks [Online].


July 18th, 2017|Clement House, Learning Spaces|Comments Off on Understanding student use of informal learning spaces with cognitive and photographic mapping|

An evaluation of LSE’s new informal learning spaces

In the 2016-2017 academic year, staff at LTI undertook an evaluation of the use of new LSE informal learning spaces. The findings and lessons learnt can be found in our final report. Here are the highlights.


As part of a School-wide objective to provide students with more informal learning spaces across campus, “forgotten” spaces were redeveloped and opened for the 2016-17 academic year. Staff at LTI led the design of 6 spaces – one at each landing of Clement House’s back stairwell- along with Estates, the Teaching and Learning Centre and AV services.

While each space was designed to fulfil a specific function, such as collaborative work or quiet study, they were also intended to be flexible so that students could own and shape them.

This work was also an opportunity for LTI to experiment with new configurations and technology to apply a variety of modular spaces for LSE’s future buildings. LTI’s report investigates the effective use made by students of the six spaces, and whether they match the design intentions. It also provided a context to understand how they fit into the overall experience of students with informal learning spaces at the School.

Click the picture for a description of the spaces


In spite of the fact that the effective use of the spaces did not always match the original design intentions, the spaces were welcomed by both students and staff and saw high levels of occupancy.

As far as use is concerned, students seemed to favour individual use of the spaces, even on those floors fitted with collaborative furniture. This was found to align with the most common approach to teaching and learning adopted at the School and also reflected in assessment, namely quiet study and individual working. It would be interesting to reassess the use of those and similar spaces once other modes of teaching and assessment are adopted as a result of the School-wide initiative to diversify assessment from next year.

With regards to the spaces themselves. students appreciated the calm and relaxed feel to the spaces and the range of equipment available to them.  Areas for improvement include noise levels (especially between classes) and a lack of work space (such as tables or chairs).


More information about the spaces, findings and our analysis can be found in the full report: An Evaluation of Clement House Informal Learning Spaces.

LTI is currently working on the redevelopment of other informal spaces, as well as three rooms in various areas of the campus (more details to follow soon)

Findings from this evaluation and our previous new teaching spaces evaluation will inform the design of these spaces and the future ones.

We would love to hear your feedback, please use the comments below or email LTI to share your thoughts!

June 29th, 2017|Announcements, Ed-Tech news and issues, innovation, Learning Spaces, Projects, Reports & Papers, Teaching & Learning, TEL Trends, Uncategorized|Comments Off on An evaluation of LSE’s new informal learning spaces|

Round the Rotunda: Celebrating Clement House’s New Learning Spaces

LTI is organising a celebration of the new learning spaces in the “rotunda” staircase of Clement House on Wednesday 7th December.

Come join us for coffee/tea, cake and other nibbles and explore the six spaces. It will also be the chance to meet or catch up with the team and what we are up to!

Interested? Book your place

What’s happening on each floor:


Floor 3 – New York


Reception & Food – 3.30pm start

Award-winning LTI

LSE innovators

Floor 2 – Rio de Janeiro


Learning Spaces

Flipping the Classroom

Floor 4 – London


Games for Learning


Floor 5 – Sydney




Floor 6 – Tokyo


Students As Producers

Assessment and Feedback








November 21st, 2016|Announcements, Events & Workshops (LTI), Learning Spaces, Teaching & Learning|Comments Off on Round the Rotunda: Celebrating Clement House’s New Learning Spaces|